Buckinghamshire latest county affected by swine dysentery

Buckinghamshire has become the latest county to be affected by swine dysentery in a series of outbreaks across England and Scotland.

Laboratory tests confirmed a nursery-to-finish unit had the disease earlier this week (27 August).

The unit is suspected to have had the outbreak two-to-three weeks ago as there were no distinctive clinical signs of swine dysentery.

In notifying the outbreak, AHDB said that pigs that have moved from Buckinghamshire should be monitored closely for clinical signs of enteric disease and vets should be notified immediately if diarrhoea is suspected.

The AHDB called for heightened vigilance over the coming weeks, especially in Buckinghamshire.

See also: Spate of swine dysentery cases highlights importance of hygiene

What is swine dysentery?

  • A disease referred to a Brachyspira hyodysenteriae
  • Often presented as bloody diarrhoea
  • Pigs appear dull, depressed and inappetant


  • Tiamulin and Lincomycin can be effective by injection or in water
  • These can also be added to feed, along with Valnemulin and Tylvalocin
  • Other treatments have been withdrawn in the UK and there is variable resistance to Tylosin and Lincomycin


  • Biosecurity and stock sourcing
  • Care in moving pigs off premises and quarantining on return
  • Control of vermin, birds, visitors and disease vectors.

Source: NADIS (National Animal Disease Information Service)

Earlier cases

Cases have been identified this year in North and West Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Nottingham, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire and north-east Scotland.

Data from the APHA (Animal and Plant Health Agency) pig disease surveillance dashboard shows 15 cases between January and July 2019 in England and Scotland.

This follows 16 cases last year after 2015, 2016 and 2017 yielded four, five and eight cases respectively.

The disease has made the headlines already this summer, when the Great Yorkshire Show and National Pig Association Pig of the Year classes were cancelled after a suspected swine dysentery case at the Royal Norfolk Show.

However, an investigation into the possible case concluded with negative results.